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The Mediterranean Diet … I Mean Lifestyle

09/04/2012

I cannot stand the word “diet.” For me, it conjures up images of overweight men and women ordering a 16oz ribeye steak with a side of broccoli because “I’m on the Atkins diet,” which seems to completely defeat the purpose because a ribeye has a ton of fat around the edges.

Diets are simply ineffective. They promote a short-term cure for a long-term problem; and the moment you step away from it, you may find yourself immediately returning to your old habits.

However, I will say my eating habits as of late have been less than ideal. So when I decided it was time for a change … it ended up being a diet.

Geez, I can’t stand that word.

I did quite a bit of research into different diets and eating lifestyles. The Dukan Diet, while promising short and long-term gains, simply allocated for too much protein consumption. As a woman, there’s only so much protein I can or want to eat before I start feeling icky. In addition, it’s been condemned by both the French and British governments, not to mention the Mayo Clinic and WebMD. Sounds a little too risky for my long-term health.

I also looked at the Paleo Diet, which my roommate Marisa follows. It was quite interesting, but I didn’t quite feel like it was me or suited my lifestyle. Plus, I have no desire to use coconut oil or butter on anything, since coconut is one of my least favorite flavors in existence.

Finally, as much as I love my fruits and veggies, I could never go back to being a vegetarian. I really enjoy eating fish and seafood, and I like the way it makes me feel physically. Sushi really isn’t the same without it.

So I ended up looking up the Mediterranean Diet, something I had come across before and was curious about. I fell in love. The Mediterranean Diet has many of the types of food I love to eat, but moderated in a healthy and fresh way. It encourages cooking for yourself using fresh, seasonal ingredients. In addition, it wants you to enjoy the fruits of your labor by avoiding television while eating and instead relaxing with some quiet music and a glass of red wine.

It felt so good to take a break from everything last night and just enjoy my creation.

Last night I made a Garden Pizza recipe I found in Amazon Kindle book “The Mediterranean Diet” by Rockridge University Press ($9.99), a book I highly recommend as a starting point for trying out the Mediterranean Diet. Of course I made a few delicious modifications to the recipe, all of which kept in tradition with the intent of the original.

It was basically a bunch of grilled veggies on top of a whole-wheat pita round with a little mozzarella cheese and olive oil. It tasted quite a bit like the Tofurky Vegan Pizza I’ve bought at the store several times — except this time, I made it myself.

As I’m typing this, I’m enjoying a nice cup of tea with nonfat milk, and I’ll soon be making a Farmer’s Scramble using last night’s leftover ingredients, which saves me money.

During the next few weeks, I’ll be reporting my progress with my new … well … diet. I will also be sharing my progress with my improved exercise regimen, during which I ran a mile yesterday for the first time in my life.

I look forward to looking better, feeling better and … most of all … being better.

Heck, I feel better already.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 09/04/2012 15:19

    wow – you ran a mile too?! awesome! the mediterranean um, “diet”, sounds flavorful and interesting (i especially like no tv while eating – did the book actually say that!??) – hopefully your research will pay off quickly and you’ll rid yourself of those few pesky pounds 🙂 good article!

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